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Charity services to be more accessible to veterans

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Combat Stress is to significantly increase the provision of online treatment to make it easier and more convenient for veterans to access our services. With the outbreak of the pandemic, we rapidly adjusted to delivering our specialist treatment online to veterans across the UK.

Feedback from veterans, and our own research, show that in most cases online therapy can be just as effective as delivering it in-person, it enables veterans to engage more easily with treatment, and most veterans are at ease with receiving treatment in this way.

To continue meeting the needs of veterans and their families today, we are developing and improving our intensive treatment for PTSD to enable more veterans with complex mental health needs to benefit from our specialist, cutting-edge support.

The treatment will be delivered online, in the community, through outpatients and in a residential setting. Our residential intensive treatment will move from a six-week format to three weeks. Veterans are coming to us younger and at a different life-stage, so a six-week residential treatment programme is not always suitable due to their work and family commitments.

The latest international research shows that a shorter intensive treatment programme, with shorter gaps between psychotherapy sessions, still provides successful treatment. By offering our highly specialist intensive treatment in four different ways, our services will be more flexible and accessible, meaning we can treat more veterans.

In addition, we will continue to deliver outpatient and residential treatment at our centres in England and Scotland (outpatient only at our centre in Northern Ireland), as well as treatment in the community. We will also continue to deliver our Peer Support Service online and in-person.

In Scotland, we will move from Hollybush House in the coming months to new premises in Edinburgh. This will provide veterans with a more accessible location through its proximity to city centre public transport links, as well as providing a modern, fit for purpose venue for us to deliver our treatment. We will also open a smaller base in Glasgow and operate more than 20 community-based clinics across Scotland. For more about this, click here.

Through our services, each year we will be able to provide direct clinical treatment to approximately 1,600 veterans with complex mental health issues. This is in addition to the thousands of veterans who call our Helpline and access our online guided self-help resources.

By modernising our service provision with more online treatment, whilst still maintaining residential support for those who need it, veterans with complex mental health issues will be able to tackle the past and take on the future.